2018 Kia Rio First Drive Review

The Kia Rio has a difficult, and oddly conflicting mission in America. As the least expensive Kia, commuter shoppers demand a car that’s basic, reliable and inexpensive to own. On the other hand, a full third of Rio buyers say they are interested in premium features wrapped in subcompact sheet metal. The result is the designed-for-Europe Rio which has the interior and driving dynamics to compete with the Fit and Yaris iA, yet also offers a “stripper” model that hits Nissan’s Versa head on. The result is what the British would call “cheap and cheerful” with a long warranty, a dollop of style, and a generous cargo area. The Rio may not set your heart on fire, but it’s a solid subcompact buy.